As development in Penrith continues to soar, so does the need for electricity. But a proposed plan for a 5000sqm substation has left some residents uneasy.
If developments continue to go ahead, Penrith will have insufficient capacity in the network over the long-term to meet the demand for electricity.
Endeavour Energy has now begun seeking options as to how we can ensure there is enough power to support the growing region.
Conducting tests all over the area, the land on the corner of Jamison and Racecourse Roads is looking to be a feasible spot. But retired engineer and South Penrith resident, Adrian Shafer, said it’s too close for comfort.
“When I found out it was a substation I said you’ve got to be kidding me, there will be so many complications to have such a thing in that spot,” he said.
“I’ve been doing my research, the magnetic electric field is far too close to homes, it’ll cause all sorts of complications, cancer, contamination of both ground water and air.”
Mr Shafer said residents living near the land had no idea that it was even being tested.
“People use that land because of the beautiful big trees, there’s not many left around here and now they want to knock down more,” he said.
“I’m not saying we don’t need it, of course we do, with all of the development in Penrith but there’s so many places it can be placed that won’t harm anybody.”
A spokesperson from Endeavour Energy said they plan to defer building the substation for as long as possible, whilst still maintaining the security and reliability of supply electricity to the Penrith area.
“Endeavour Energy will be seeking expressions of interest in 2020 from major customers, developers and other third parties interested in demand management initiatives such as: load shifting by major customers; installing new embedded generation and energy storage; or significant energy conservation measures,” the spokesperson said.
“We are looking to purchase land on the corner of Jamison and Racecourse Road in case a new zone substation is the only viable option to meet the future electricity needs.”
New zone substations typically require lead times of up to five years to complete once a suitable site has been secured. Community and stakeholder feedback will be invited as the plan rolls on.
A graduate of Western Sydney University, Nicola Barton is a news journalist with the Western Weekender, primarily covering crime and politics.